'Betsy girls fall short

By Ivan Sanders
STAR CORRESPONDENT

   The Lady Cyclones had carefully laid a trap to snare the Cougars of Central and edge closer in the conference race. The only problem was the Cougars were sly enough to side-step the snare and sneak off with a victory.
   The Lady Cougars defeated the Lady Cyclones by a score of 43-37 on homecoming night at A.L. Treadway Gym Friday. This game was a stark contrast to the way the Cyclones had performed earlier in the season on the Lady Cougars' home floor.
   "We knew that even though we beat them by several points at home, we would have to come out and play hard tonight," stated Lady Cougar Lauren Burke. "At halftime we talked about needing to pull together as a team and encouraging one another so we could win this game."
   Burke did her part recording eight points for Central, but it was the play of teammate Lindsey McGrady that was the difference in the game.
   McGrady collected a game-high 17 points and six rebounds to keep the Lady Cougars ahead of the pack for the conference title. Most of McGrady's damage was done on the interior as she made several easy shots under the bucket.
   The Lady Cyclones seemed to be their own worst enemy as they shot only 32 percent in the first half. The Cougars built a 23-17 advantage at the break and seemed to be in control of the game.
   Rikki Baughman had something to say about that in the second half as she sparked her team on a run where the Lady Cyclones eventually caught Central at 27-all with 2:58 left in the third period after a deuce from Baughman.
   The score would be 36-33 with 5:05 left in the contest when the Cyclones went into a scoring drought that lasted until the 1:17 mark of the contest and the Lady Cougars leading by five. EHS would get no closer than three as they were forced to send Central to the line where the Lady Cougars proved true to take the victory.
   Baughman had an all-around good night as the Cyclone freshman pumped in 14 points and added five rejections, three steals, and a couple of assist to her list of accolades. The performance still wasn't enough to satisfy Baughman.
   "We came out here tonight wanting to win this game really bad," stated Baughman. "They killed us over at their place by 20 points and we came out here wanting to do the same to them."
   Senior post Beth Holtsclaw contributed with 11 points on the evening, including a shot from behind the three-point arc. Tanya Dykes, Lacy Lane, and Sarah Smith each netted four points to close out the Cyclone scoring.
   Kristie Moody contributed eight points, while Ashley Masoner chipped in with seven for the Lady Cougars. Amber Sally provided some nice ball-handling for Central breaking the Lady Cyclones down and then feeding McGrady and Burke on the inside.
   Said Lady Cyclone head mentor Mike Wilson: "Central was able to get too many easy lay-ups early on and we couldn't get our shot. McGrady got a lot of offensive boards and she is so hard to defend because she is such a strong kid inside."
   Wilson had some positives to take from the game.
   "Sarah Smith provided a good spark for us," stated Wilson. "Rikki probably accounted for six or eight points with the shots she blocked tonight which is another dimension of her game I didn't really realize she had."
   The Lady Cyclones finished the evening shooting 32 percent from the field and 60 percent from the charity stripe. EHS collected 10 offensive rebounds and seven defensive boards. They proved to be great thieves as well recording 12 steals, while blocking seven shots.
   For the Lady Cougars, they finished the game shooting 44 percent from the field and 53 percent from the foul line. They accounted for 15 boards, eight offensive and seven defensive, and collected three steals.
   The Lady Cyclones will be back on the hardwood with a tough game at Hampton on Tuesday. The Cyclones took a tough one-point win against the Lady Bulldogs earlier in the season.